Jessica Beitler, Tabatha Menapace, Lorelei Starr, Jodi Swihart NRN 422, July 2, 2008
Malone College School of Nursing
Aim. To identify characteristics that predict the incidence of burnout in Registered Nurses. Background. Burnout was first described in the early 1970’s by human service professionals and healthcare workers. In 2001, The Joint Commission reported that 43 percent of nurses currently working scored high in a range of burnout measures and 22 percent were planning to leave their jobs in the next year. Consequently, burnout is a costly phenomenon not only from the standpoint of nurses themselves, but from that of the healthcare organizations as well. Previous research focused on specific causes of burnout, whereas this study facilitates identification of the most common group of characteristics that are associated with burnout. Method. A quantitative, descriptive, correlational study was conducted using an electronic survey for data collection. Subjects were Registered Nurses from a Northeast Ohio hospital. Burnout was measured by the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL). Scores from this scale were then correlated with personal and work environment characteristics to determine correlational relationship using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation (Pearson’s r). Results. Of the 32 respondents, 19 Registered Nurses were identified to be in burnout. A statistical analysis of these 19 suggests a probable profile of one prone to burnout. This is a registered nurse with less than five years of experience, is at midlife, has minimal nursing education requirements, and has chosen nursing as a profession for financial gain and/or job security. Conclusion. The results of this study confirm that burnout is a phenomenon which continues to plague the nursing profession. It is imperative that leaders in the nursing profession become aware of the nurse most likely to experience burnout. Development of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention intervention strategies targeting high profile individuals may reduce their potential for burnout.
Predictors of Nurse Burnout
Statement of the Problem
The phenomenon of occupational burnout has been a topic of discussion and research for over a quarter of a century spanning many professions. Nurse burnout is of particular importance as the United States Department of Labor estimates over one million nurses will be required to fill new and vacated positions by the year 2020. If current trends continue, only 64 percent of the projected demand will be met (Health Resources and Service Administration, 2004). Identifying and describing what characteristics correlate in higher incidences of Registered Nurse (RN) burnout within their profession would allow employers, schools of nursing, and nurse leaders to refine and target their efforts of retention to this particular group. Background and Significance
Burnout was first described in the early 1970’s by human service professionals and healthcare workers (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). Since that time the phenomenon has been the focus of extensive research. Freudenberger and Maslach were the first to explore burnout in an attempt to define the phenomenon and demonstrate the regularity of its occurrence (Maslach, et al., 2001). In the pioneering phase of burnout research, qualitative studies were conducted via interviews with human service professionals. Personal accounts of emotional stress on the job were obtained and documented. Several key similarities were identified among workers descriptions of experienced job stress and feelings of burnout. Maslach recognized these similarities and compiled them in order to describe the burnout phenomenon. This concept was expanded, and ultimately, burnout was defined as a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment (Maslach & Jackson, 1981).
Burnout syndrome continues to be prevalent in...